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    Freedom and choice

    We met one of our ex-students last week. The student is now in another school and we generally chatted about how he is finding the new school, etc. The child is doing well in the new school, but when asked what he misses about GGIS, he said- “Freedom“.
    To which the parent reacted “But that is what I don’t want him to have, he SHOULD be disciplined.
    All this over a good laugh and a lively chat. The student and the parent’s answer, however, got me thinking. Is what we offer, really freedom? Or freedom as parents perceive it?
    Our strict lesson plans and detailed schedules rarely leave anything to chance. We do not have students running amok and learning nothing. Instead, they undergo so much at times that they I feel we are robbing them of their childhood naiveties!
    But at GGIS, the students, however, do have a choice.
    They do not have the freedom to learn or not learn about fractions. But they do have the choice to learn through videos or activities or workbooks or lectures.
    Neither do they have the freedom to not appear for an exam. But they do have the choice to answer and explain about fractions in their own ways. We don’t use the Multiple Intelligences framework to just teach, we also use it for our Assessments.
    We encourage and accept different kinds of work from our students. And that is liberating for the student. He feels heard and encouraged.
    But what about the Board exam?, will quip the concerned Indian parent. To which, I only have to say, let primary years belong to the child’s well being. For only on a strong foundation, can you build a tall building.
    Give choices to students. For students inherently want to learn. Providing choices make students active partners rather than passive recipients.

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